Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head
A year of blogging and some stats and patterns were interesting, for me at least. I’ve not really delved into the subcutaneous with this – I’m not tracking what time I posted etc. I think EFL people and my friends are in so many timezones it doesn’t matter much.
Number of posts: 49.
Not bad. That means about once a week on average which I think I could double and still have something worth talking about. But it’s not a numbers game for me, I don’t need to set a goal for this, I don’t see the point of posting for the sake of it. I love blogging. It’s like my own personal magazine column and I’d do it (and do on other blogs) even if no-one was reading because writing is my oxygen and food.
Readers: Approx 10,000 views.
I think this is pretty low. And this is partly because I have not been proactive enough about interacting on Twitter and with other bloggers.
But it’s mostly to do with the way people read blog posts. Namely, they don’t share them. Unless something gets outside your immediate network, it rarely gets picked up by anything else. I wish people would share things they like as much as they share, let’s say, cat pictures. I think people think your blog is kind of personal.
My top five most read are:
#1 is the one that was shared, via Facebook, outside my network and also appeared in search engine results as it was November, Breast Cancer Awareness month, and a lot of people were seeking the terms “breast cancer” and “facebook handbag” probably hating that stupid gimmicky, facebook status game as much as I had.
#2 went crazy in the EFL community and was shared around Twitter.
#3 shows up in search engines if someone puts in the term “men’s health magazine oral sex” meaning it is on the same page in the search results as the actual magazine. It used to be higher up the list and I don’t know how to make it go back up.
#4 also appears in search engine results for people looking for ideas in class, and it has been shared via Twitter, but I think the first factor is the most significant.
#5 also search engine related.
The top 3 are 50% more viewed than the last two and three times more viewed than a post that is only read in my immediate network.
So this count includes my replies and I am replying every 1.5 comment by others. The most commented post was the Cult of Celebrity in ELT which got quite heated. I had actual stomach knots looking at them sometimes so I can’t imagine what it’s like for Russell Brand! This was followed by a post on creativity with under half as many comments and a not very widely read post about a boring, dominant student.
So, to get comments as well as views, be controversial and appeal for ideas/help ie start a dialogue.
So, this tells me that I need to make sure I am concentrating on cramming all those “redundant” SEO words into posts but also that I need to get people sharing stuff more. That is a harder task.
The trouble with the SEO approach is that EFL stuff is a relatively small population and I am writing about materials writing not teaching, mostly, so that is even more of a niche. I need to focus more on how teachers can benefit from things I write or find.
Since the top posts are not EFL related, then things of generic interest will be more widely read. But, those readers will not follow the blog in future as it mostly deals with niche appeal topics. Maybe I should split the blog up, but that means having five of them and I want to be a real person here as well as just a Materials Writer blogger. I may rethink this later in the year.
Once I start writing about the apps I’m working on, I wonder if that will bring a new stream but will not be specialised enough for people interested in app developing in general. How do I convert interested EFL blog readers into app downloads for apps that are for learners? This is my 2014 mission!
Little things I’ve learned
Reblogging something to make it appear nearer the top of your blog roll wipes the viewing stats so, although the Timeline of a Graded Reader was one of the most shared on Twitter, thanks to ELT Teacher2Writer, I don’t know how it compares with the others.
ELT publishers do not share your Tweets/follow your blog even if they are about books they’ve published! Suggesting they need to be more personal with their marketing I would say.
How I did in general with writing is in this nauseatingly sincere post.